Friday, July 25, 2014

BLM Issues Fire Restrictions In Portion Of McInnis Canyons NCA

Fire Restrictions for McInnis Canyons NCA 

Colorado River Corridor

Released: July 24, 2014

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. —  Bureau of Land Management officials ordered fire restrictions in portions of McInnis Canyons NCA that will be in effect beginning Monday.

Fire restrictions will impact campers floating the Colorado River between the Loma boat ramp and the Utah border. Fires are currently restricted to fire pans for this stretch of river. Beginning Monday, the use of fires for campers along the Colorado River in McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area will be unlawful. Cooking stoves equipped with an on-off switch remain legal.  

“We need to institute fire restrictions due to dry conditions specific to the river corridor,” said Collin Ewing, manager McInnis Canyons NCA. A recent fire destroyed sensitive resources in camping spots along the river.  According to Ewing, fires pose a serious threat to fragile cottonwood galleries along the river that are highly valued by campers for valuable shade in the hot dry NCA. “We’ve been working hard to get cottonwoods established and we don’t want to damage this sensitive resource or jeopardize future camping experiences.”

Camping in the area covered by the fire restrictions is by permit only. Use of fire beginning 1201 a.m. Monday is a violation to camping permit regulations and will result in penalties for violation of permit rules.  Individuals responsible for wildfire can be held responsible for damages that may extend into the $ millions. Violation of fire restrictions is punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment of not more than 12 months or both.

This restriction does not apply to other public lands on the western slope. Conditions not impacted by this fire restriction remain dry and vulnerable to wildfire but are not affected by this restriction.  Federal fire officials still urge extreme caution with any burning.